Over the past couple of years there have been plenty of hoaxes and mock-ups of the unique “futuristic” technologies presented to us in the film Back to the Future II. In 2011, Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live fame and Christopher Lloyd himself took part in a viral marketing campaign for the Nike Air Mag, a stylistic replica of the awesome self-lacing shoes worn by Marty McFly when he visited the distant future of 2015. The shoes were real. However, they did not lace up themselves and they were sold as a limited release with the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Parkison’s Disease Foundation. And let’s be honest, most people would not be caught dead wearing these shoes. Still, and for just a minute, it was fun to consider buying them.
Earlier this year, we received news about two different hover boards. One of them was an odd celebrity-fueled hoax (shown in the video below) for a fictional company called HUVR. The video was pretty cool and it spread like wildfire, but it was too good to be true and to many it was obviously a well produced jape. It was later revealed that the folks at Funny or Die were behind the hoax. Then, there was The Hoverboard from Zapata Racing, an aquatic stunt-board fueled by water propulsion and pure awesome. Though it is nothing like the hover board from Back to the Future II, in some ways it is even more amazing.
The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground. While our hoverboard is primarily intended to be self-propelled, the actions which stabilize it can also be used to drive it forward by altering the projected force on the surface below. Currently, this surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. Right now we use commonly available metals in simple sheets, but we are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs.
With the ability to hover one inch above the ground and hold up to three hundred pounds, the Hendo Hoverboard will be able to handle people of all shapes and sizes. This is the stuff of science fiction and it could be the next big thing like the Segway, a breakthrough in transportation technology.
To avoid any legal issues, Hendo Hover avoids mentioning the classic science fiction comedy from 1989, but the comparisons are unavoidable. Though the Hendo requires a special surface to function properly, we are getting closer to 2015, the future of Back to the Future II. With the success of this amazing Kickstarter campaign allowing Hendo the opportunity to spend more on research and development, sooner or later they will crack the code on this technology and we will all be floating around like Marty McFly. These days, almost anything seems possible.